By Jennifer Hiller
Advertiser Staff Writer
The first public meeting on the University of Hawaiis proposed tuition increase went virtually unnoticed, although it was broadcast across the school system.
Few students bothered to attend the information sessions that took place on each campus by live video over the Hawaii Interactive Television System, and even fewer asked questions, but the handful that did raised some of the same issues that eventually helped defeat the proposal before the Board of Regents last year.
Yesterdays reaction was a marked contrast to the protests greeting last years proposal.
The latest plan would raise the cost of a year of resident undergraduate tuition at UH-Manoa from $3,024 to $3,504 by 2006. Graduate students and others at UHs nine other campuses also would pay more, bringing the university more in line with the national average.
The least popular of the proposals making community college students pay tuition per credit hour was one administrators dropped from their plans last year. It was reinserted this year and drew criticism again yesterday.
Students pay only for their first 12 credit hours per semester, but under the new plan they would have to pay for all credit hours.
Students at Maui Community College said increasing costs would discourage full-time students from taking more than 12 hours a semester. One student at Honolulu Community College said some vocational students who are required to take 18 or 20 hours of classes each semester, would see their tuition costs rise by 50 percent or more if the measure is approved.
Lance Collins, a UH graduate student who helped organize protests against the tuition increase last year, said many community college students would be forced to take longer to graduate if they had to pay extra.
Raising tuition also would hurt access to the university system, he said, particularly for the states poorest and most disadvantaged students.
But Colleen Sathre, UH vice president for planning and policy, said incremental tuition increases are needed to avoid big leaps later.
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